American Express launches stored-value card
A new stored-value card called the 'Primary Card' is being offered by American Express Incentive Services to help meet a growing demand for focused-use cards.
American Express Incentive Services (AEIS) has also announced that it is expanding the licensing programme for its patented filtering process, which makes such 'focused-use' cards possible. The aim of these cards is to strategically direct cardholder redemption to specific merchants, effectively offering a half-way stop between traditional single-store gift cards and universal credit-card branded stored value cards.
The Primary Card, a stored-value card that can already be used at several retail chains in the USA, has been designed for incentive and promotional programmes with consumer audiences that want a single card for their primary shopping needs.
Directed spend Cardholders may use the card to purchase everyday items such as clothing, home improvement supplies, and electronics. So far the card is accepted by a variety of national retailers including Lowe's, Best Buy, T.J. Maxx and Staples, and can also be used to purchase restaurant gift cards.
Darryl Hutson, CEO for AEIS, commented: "The Primary Card is aimed at being fun and memorable while still being practical. It offers a diverse combination of popular merchants themed around serving the cardholder's everyday needs. The card's merchant mix makes it an especially good fit for employee incentive programmes, and it works for sales incentives and consumer promotions as well."
Expanded licensing AEIS has been selective in licensing the patented process used to create cards like the Primary Card but says it will now provide licensing options for a broader range of incentive providers. Licensees will be able to create cards similar to the Primary Card, so they can specify particular merchant redemption categories or offer clients the ability to customise a card's merchant mix.
However, companies that want to sell focused-use cards without becoming licensees may do so by simply reselling AEIS' cards, like the Primary Card.
As Hutson observed, "Focused-use cards are growing in popularity because they are a perfect solution for programmes that seek to direct the participants' spend. This allows a company to play on a theme, such as with a home goods or dining out card... It offers tremendous opportunity to create just the right experience to fit any programme or demographic."